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El Paso Ministry Group Makes National Hate Group List

The Southern Poverty Law Center, a Civil Rights group based in Alabama, defines a hate group as, ?(a group that has) beliefs or practices that attack or malign an entire class of people, typically for their immutable characteristics.?

This week they released an updated list of hate groups operating within the United States, among the 1,018 groups was Tom Brown Ministries based in El Paso, Texas. The ministry group has the distinction of being one of only 27 anti-gay hate groups in the United States, according to SPLC.

While the pairing seems natural: Tom Brown Ministries is a Christian right group while the SPLC is a liberal left Civil Rights group, Heidi Beirich, the director of SPLC?s intelligence project says there is far more to the label. She claims says Tom Brown is an extremist.

?Tom Brown Ministries has things on their website about how people are sick and disturbed,? said Beirich.

?It (the website) claims people become gay because they?ve been sexually abused by an older person. These are myths of gay people used to belittle or demean people in our population.?

Tom Brown doesn?t agree. He says Tom Brown Ministries is not anti-gay, he says they?re pro-Jesus.

?A person can simply say that we believe this is a wrong lifestyle, that doesn?t make a person judgmental or hateful,? said Brown.

As for his views on the cause of homosexuality, Brown has a documented history of his stance from books he?s written and speeches outlined on his website.

Brown stood by his previous statements calling homosexuality an illness citing the American Psychiatric Association considered homosexuality a mental disorder until 1973. He claimed they changed their stance in retaliation of gay lobbyists who forced people to be more politically correct.

Other comments documented over the years by Brown include his statement that some become gay after being sexually abused, a stance he still holds.

?One of the things that can, but not always, cause homosexuality, or same sex attraction, is when someone is molested at a young age,? said Brown.

Tom Brown, and his church, has made national headlines over the past year for his stance on El Paso?s city council passing an ordinance to give health benefits to domestic partners of city employees, including those of the same sex.

The fight has escalated to a proposed recall election of Mayor John Cook, and two City Council representatives, that was spearheaded by members of the Word of Life Church where Tom Brown serves as pastor, and Bishop. Earlier this year, the recall election was stopped because of a technicality. Brown recently tweeted saying that his lawyers have filed paperwork with the Texas Supreme Court to overrule the appellate court?s decision that halted the recall election.

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